Jobs of a Preschooler · Ramblings · Themed Books

Nature Walk: How Many Butterflies and Moths?

(This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a small commission at no extra charge to you if you click on a link and make a purchase.)

I had mentioned in a previous post that your little ones can be scientists by taking a nature walk to make some fun discoveries. I have talked about finding tracks, nests, and interesting creatures before. Today, I thought it would be fun to search for butterflies and moths.

Although I am definitely not a lepidopterist (a person who studies moths or butterflies), there are some books that provide details about moths and butterflies.

Books about Moths and Butterflies

Butterflies and Moths: Explore Nature with Fun Facts and Activities by DK

Butterfly or Moth?: How Do You Know by Melissa Stewart

Butterflies and Moths by David Carter

Moth and Butterfly Search

Typically, moths have fat feathery antennae, and butterflies have slender antennae with “balls” at the tips. Butterflies are often found during the day, whereas moths often prefer nights. Butterflies make chrysalises, and moths make cocoons.

This is a picture of a monarch butterfly we found on a trail we were walking on one day. Did you know you can tell a male and female monarch butterfly apart by looking at the markings on the wings when they are open? The males have black spots, and the females don’t.

These caterpillars shown on the milkweed plants are not technically butterflies (yet), but it is fun to see the different stages of a butterfly. Did you know monarch caterpillars can only eat milkweed plants?

monarch caterpillars on milkweed

I took the caterpillar picture at a monarch butterfly event we attended. Families were allowed to take home a caterpillar to raise and later release.

The book How to Raise Monarch Butterflies by Carol Pasternak is a great resource if you would like to raise your own monarch butterflies.

Some nature centers allow visitors to help tag monarch butterflies. The small tags help track monarchs during their long migration. More information about monarch tagging can be found on Monarch Watch.

I think this is an eastern tiger swallowtail. We were walking and saw it along the side of a road.

If you know what this guy is, please let me know.

A moth, a beetle, and a fly all flew on to a tree…

butterfly, beetle, and fly

…and then I took a picture.

Speaking of butterflies and flies, another book to check out is I, Fly by Bridget Heos about a fly that feels underappreciated. He thinks butterflies get too much attention, so he attempts to enlighten a classroom full of kids about flies. Readers learn quite a few facts about flies through the fly’s humorous discussion.

How many butterflies and moths can you find?

Here are some more posts you may be interested in reading:

Nature Walk: Whose Tracks Are These?

Nature Walk: Where Will You Find a Nest?

14 Children’s Books About Flowers

14 Children’s Books About Seeds, Plants, and Gardening


Themed Books · Writing Appearances

8 Children’s Books About Community Helpers

(This post contains affiliate links, which means I may make a small commission at no extra charge to you if you click on a link and make a purchase. I greatly appreciate any purchases you make using one of the links. Thank you!)

One of my 2019 writing goals included creating a course, which I was actually able to complete earlier this year. The Foods and Food Production Course I created was published on Schoolhouse Teachers at the end of March.

Foods and Food Production

And now, there is another course I created available on Schoolhouse Teachers. This one is entitled Who Are Community Helpers?

Who Are Community Helpers? is divided into ten lessons each focused on a different community helper. Those include:

  • Chef
  • Construction worker
  • Dentist
  • Doctor
  • Farmer
  • Firefighter
  • Mail carrier
  • Nurse
  • Police officer
  • Teacher

Each individual community helper lesson is divided into sections:

  • Introduction Questions
  • Bible
  • Books to Read
  • Social Studies/History/Geography
  • Math
  • Science/Health
  • Writing
  • Art/Snack/Activities
  • Closing Questions

Who Are Community Helpers? and Foods and Food Production are available to members of Schoolhouse Teachers, which offers over 400 courses for preschoolers through high schoolers, as well as additional resources for adults.  My daughters and I have enjoyed mutliple courses, videos, and resources from Schoolhouse Teachers, and we are looking forward to taking advantage of more of the courses in the upcoming school year (and this summer).

If you would like more information about Schoolhouse Teachers, click here.

If you are not a member of Schoolhouse Teachers (and have no interest in becoming one), then maybe the following 8 books about community helpers will be helpful if you decide to talk about community helpers with the little ones in your life.

Books About Community Helpers

Helpers in my Community by Bobbie Kalman

This book talks about what a community is, who community helpers are, what communities need, and who helps to fill those needs. It discusses builders, electricians, plumbers, teachers, librarians, crossing guards, school-bus drivers, nurses, principals, caretakers, medical helpers, dentists, paramedics, fire fighters, police officers, and volunteers.

Jobs of a Preschooler by Brigitte Brulz

Yes, this is the book I wrote and published, but I figured it fits in with community helpers. Jobs of a Preschooler has only one sentence per page and rhyming text. Free coloring pages to go along with the book are available here.

The summary of Jobs of a Preschooler states: “There are many jobs a parent may do throughout his or her day. A parent may be a chef (someone has to make the meals to eat), a teacher (learning doesn’t happen only at school), and a driver (for all those places where walking would take way too long). But parents aren’t the only ones with these jobs – preschoolers may do them, too! Join a busy preschooler as she experiences many jobs throughout her day. Is it work, or is it play?”

Show Me Community Helpers by Clint Edwards

This book includes police officers, firefighters, emergency medical technicians, doctors, nurses, pharmacists, dentists and hygienists, veterinarians, teachers, librarians, school bus drivers, cafeteria workers, construction workers, and electric utility workers. Each community helper section offers vocabulary words that go along with that community helper. For example, the police officer section talks about what police officers do and defines a fingerprint, crime, jail, holster, police car, siren, flashlight, two-way radio, badge, and handcuffs.

Whose Coat is This? by Laura Purdie Salas

Throughout the book, the reader is asked whose coat is being shown closeup with a one line description. The answer is then found on the next page along with more of a description of how the coat is just right for the job it is used for. The “coats” shown in this book include an artist’s smock, judge’s robe, soldier’s jacket, mail carrier’s coat, ski patroller’s jacket, doctor’s lab coat, firefighter’s coat, and your coat. The end includes a quick quiz to see what you have learned about three of the coats.

Whose Gloves are These? by Laura Purdie Salas

Throughout the book, the reader is asked whose gloves are being shown closeup with a one line description. The answer is then found on the next page along with more of a description of how the gloves are just right for the job they are used for. The gloves shown include a zookeeper’s glove, baseball player’s glove, dentist’s glove, mountain guide’s glove, gardener’s glove, welder’s gloves, housekeeper’s glove, and your winter mittens. The end includes a quick quiz to see what you have learned about three of the gloves.

Whose Hat Is This? by Sharon Katz Cooper

Throughout the book, the reader is asked whose hat is being shown closeup with a one line description. The answer is then found on the next page along with more of a description of how the hat is just right for the job it is used for. The hats shown include a firefighter’s helmet, beekeeper’s hat, chef’s hat, police officer’s cap, football player’s helmet, astronaut’s helmet, construction worker’s hard hat, and your hat. The end includes a quick quiz to see what you have learned about three of the hats.

Whose Shoes Are These? by Laura Purdie Salas

Throughout the book, the reader is asked whose shoes are being shown closeup with a one line description. The answer is then found on the next page along with more of a description of how the shoes are just right for the job they are used for. The shoes shown include underwater photographer’s flippers, park ranger’s field boots, athlete’s basketball shoes, construction worker’s steel-toed boots, ballerina’s pointe shoes, fisherman’s knee-high rubber boots, astronaut’s space boots, and your sneakers. The end includes a quick quiz to see what you have learned about three of the shoes.

Who Will I Be? by Abby Huntsman

The teacher in Isabel’s class asks what the students want to be when they are older, but Isabel doesn’t know. Her dad has her think about what makes her happy. She enjoys helping others but doesn’t think there is a job for a helper, so her dad shows her some of the helpers in her community: a teacher, crossing guard, veterinarian, someone in the military, policeman, librarian, activist, gardener, garbage man, pastor, journalist, fireman, and mayor (her mother). She still doesn’t know specifically which job she wants to have when she grows up, but she decides she does want to be a helper.

Do you have a recommendation for any other book about community helpers?

For more themed books, check out:

Ramblings · Themed Books

55 Children’s Books About Dads

(This post contains affiliate links, which means I may make a small commission at no extra charge to you if you click on a link and make a purchase. Thank you!)

Father’s Day is already less than two weeks away!

If you are looking for a fun gift or card for kids to make this Father’s Day, you can check out 15 DIY Father’s Day gifts and cards that I compiled for Hands On As We Grow.

If you are looking for children’s books about dads, then keep reading! With so many options to choose from (a total of 55), I hope you are able to find at least one that fits your needs.

Many of these books are available at my library according to the online library catalog; however, I did not check them all out and preview them ahead of time like I have done in the past.

Children’s Books About Dads

Always Daddy’s Princess by Karen Kingsbury

Ask Me by Bernard Waber

Baby Dance by Ann Taylor 

Because I’m Your Dad by Ahmet Zappa

Because Your Daddy Loves You by Andrew Clements

Dad and the Dinosaur by Gennifer Choldenko 

Dad By My Side by Soosh 

Dad Can do Anything by Martin Thomas 

Daddy Hug by Tim Warnes

Daddy Hugs by Nancy Tafuri 

Daddy Hugs 1-2-3 by Karen Katz

Daddy’s Girl by Helen Foster James

Daddy is a Cozy Hug by Rhonda Gowler Greene

Dad’s Book of Awesome Science Experiments: From Boiling Ice and Exploding Soap to Erupting Volcanoes and Launching Rockets, 30 Inventive Experiments to Excite the Whole Family by Mike Adamick

Days With Dad by Nari Hong

Faster! Faster! by Leslie Patricelli 

God Made Daddy Special by Glenys Nellist 

Hero Dad by Melinda Hardin

Higher! Higher! by Leslie Patricelli 

How to Surprise a Dad by Jean Reagan

If I Didn’t Have You by Alan Katz

I Love Dad by Joanna Walsh & Judi Abbot

I Love Dad With the Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle

I Love My Daddy by Giles Andreae 

I Love My Daddy Because…by Laurel Porter-Gaylord

I Love Pop!: A Celebration of Dads by Dr. Seuss

I Love You Daddy by Jilliam Harker

I Need All of It by Petra Postert 

Jabari Jumps by Gaia Cornwall

Just Like Daddy by Ovi Nedelcu

Just Me and My Dad by Mercer Mayer 

Lola Loves Stories by Anna McQuinn 

Maker Dad: Lunch Box Guitars, Antigravity Jars, and 22 Other Incredibly Cool Father-Daughter DIY Projects by Mark Frauenfelder

Me and My Dad! by Alison Ritchie 

My Cat Looks Like My Dad by Thao Lam

My Dad and Me by Alyssa Satin Capucilli

My Dad and Me by Tania Cox

My Dad is Amazing! by Sabrina Moyle

My Dad is Big and Strong, Bu/t…A Bedtime Story by Coralie Saudo 

My Father Knows the Names of Things by Jane Yolen

Naptastrophe! by Jarrett J. Krosoczka 

Nelly Gnu and Daddy Too by Anna Dewdney 

Night Job by Karen Hesse

Pet Dad by Elanna Allen

Shopping with Dad by Matt Harvey 

Thank You, God, for Daddy by Amy Parker 

The Berenstain Bears and the Papa’s Day Surprise by Stan and Jan Berenstain

The Night Before Father’s Day by Natasha Wing

The 10 Best Things About My Dad by Christine Loomis

Things To Do With Dad by Sam Zuppardi 

What Dads Can’t Do by Douglas Wood

When Dads Don’t Grow Up by Marjorie Blain Parker 

Why I Love My Daddy by Daniel Howarth

You and Me, Me and You by Miguel Tanco 

Your Baby’s First Word Will Be Dada by Jimmy Fallon

What is your favorite book about a dad?

Check out even more themed books:

Ramblings · Themed Books

5 Interactive Educational Children’s Books

(This post contains affiliate links, which means I may make a small commission at no additional charge to you if you click a link and make a purchase. Thank you!)

At my most recent writer’s meeting, someone mentioned a children’s book that allowed you to see additional pictures on a page by shining a flashlight through the back of the page. I had never seen that before, so I had to find the book for myself.

Since my writer’s meeting takes place at a library, I searched for the book before I left. The specific book that was mentioned was not at my library; however, I was pleased to discover there is an entire series of this type of book.

It is called “A Shine-A-Light Book” series. Have you seen these books before?

If not, I encourage you to check them out with the little ones in your life (or for yourself if you are like me and just want to see them). Not only do they provide interactive entertainment by finding the hidden picture(s) on each page, but they are also educational.

Here is a sample from Secrets of the Seashore by Carron Brown & Alyssa Nassner, which was published by Kane Miller (2014).  The text on the page explains what a tide pool is and then asks a question to the reader.

Illustration from Secrets of the Seashore by Carron Brown & Alyssa Nassner (Kane Miller, 2014)

When the reader shines a light through the page, they discover creatures in the tide pool. The next page explains what is found.

Illustration from Secrets of the Seashore by Carron Brown & Alyssa Nassner (Kane Miller, 2014)

Isn’t that fun? I love it! Below I have listed five books that are part of the A Shine-A-Light Book series for you to check out on your own.

A Shine-A-Light Book Series

Secrets of Winter by Carron Brown & Georgina Tee 

Find a wood frog, hare, grouse, bumblebee, tiny snails, and more as you learn about animals in the winter. The last pages include additional information about changing colors, falling leaves, hibernation, nocturnal animals, food stores, animal shelters, snowshoes, and how animals can still eat during the winter.

Secrets of the Rainforest by Carron Brown & Alyssa Nassner

Find a butterfly, spider monkey, tree frog, snake, sloth, and more as you learn about animals and plants that live in the rainforest. The last pages include additional information about the levels of the rainforest such as the upper canopy and lower levels, roots, river animals, pitcher plants, and more.

Secrets of the Seashore by Carron Brown & Alyssa Nassner

Find mussels, barnacles, sea anemones, shrimp, and more as you learn about animals that live in or near the sea. The last pages include additional information about clams burrowing in sand, whelks, crabs, gulls, sea otters, fish trapped in tide pools, seaweed, octopuses, and filtering water.

Secrets of the Vegetable Garden by Carron Brown & Giordano Poloni

Find a scarecrow, the necessities of a plant, and more as you learn about plants and animals in or near a vegetable garden. The last pages include additional information about seeds, the parts of a plant (roots, stem, and leaf), flowers, nectar, pollen, and fruit.

Secrets of the Apple Tree by Carron Brown & Alyssa Nassner

Find worms, leaves, a lizard, rabbits, a moth, and more as you learn about what can be found in, around, and under an apple tree. The last pages include additional information about what is in the soil, what may be found in leaves, who may hide in cracks, burrowers, hidden colors, spiders, birds, bumblebees, and squirrel dens.

Which one is your favorite?

For more book ideas, check out the following posts:

Themed Books · Writing Appearances

14 Children’s Books About Seeds, Plants, and Gardening

(This post contains affiliate links, which means I may make a small commission at no extra charge to you if you click on a link and make a purchase. Thank you!)

One of my writing goals for 2019  was to research some information about creating a course and possibly actually create a course.

In my 2019 goals update I mentioned something I was excited about concerning this goal. I had researched some information about creating a course for Schoolhouse Teachers, which is an online website my daughters and I have found informative, useful, and advantageous for our homeschooling journey.

Schoolhouse Teachers

Schoolhouse Teachers is also a division of The Old Schoolhouse Magazine, where I had two articles (“Hands On Math: The Hungry Jar” and “Meal Planning: How to Save Time and Money”) published last year.

I wrote a little extra about each of those articles on A Craft to Teach Kids Budgeting and Giving and Personal Pizzas Kids Can Create.

After doing my research and exploring a few of the many courses Schoolhouse Teachers has to offer (they have over 400 different courses in a variety of subjects for preschoolers through high schoolers along with many other additional resources!), I came up with three course ideas I was interested in creating and submitted a proposal.

You can find more information about Schoolhouse Teachers here if interested.

My proposal was accepted for all three courses, so I have actually exceeded this goal! I have completed two of the courses so far and one of them is now available to Schoolhouse Teachers members.

It is called Foods and Food Production.

Foods and Food Production

This course includes information about 26 different foods and how they are grown, harvested, processed, and used. Each of the 26 foods included within this course has introduction questions, links to videos about them, children’s books to read (if available), links to additional resources, a geography section with worksheets to label flags of the top ten producing countries, information about products made, recipes to try, and closing questions.

My daughters and I previewed all of the videos (plus more) that are included within the course together. Even though the course is listed on Schoolhouse Teachers for grades 1-3, my daughters (who are quite a bit older) did enjoy watching how the foods grew and were harvested and processed. I thought it was all quite fascinating!

The recommended books in the course are only books that I was able to check out from my library and preview on my own. And there were a lot of books!

I am very thankful for the library and those who help at the library! I had to reserve multiple books that were available at other libraries and have them sent to my library through interlibrary loan.

My daughters and I went on scavenger hunts at our local library searching for all of the other books I didn’t have reserved using a list I created at home from our library’s online catalog.

These are some of the books we brought home from one trip to the library for Foods and Food Production.

Books about Foods

We checked out over 50 books on at least one of the visits to the library.

It’s funny watching the glances from other people while trying to check so many books out at one time, but it’s not so much fun when one of the cloth bags breaks open on the way out of the library door.

Yeah, that happened…books are heavy! I am so glad my daughters were with me to help carry them all out.

When I was working on Foods and Food Production, it was really cold and snowy, but now it is officially spring! I’m looking forward to having fresh produce again this year from our garden.

So, in anticipation of gardening and watching our own foods grow (and in celebration of Earth Day today), I figured I would share with you fourteen books about seeds, plants, and gardening.

Thirteen of these fourteen books are included as suggested books to read at the beginning of the Foods and Food Production course.

I was able to check all of these books out from my library, but I have provided links to them for your convenience.

Children’s Books About Seeds

A Seed is Sleepy by Dianna Aston

This book talks about many different kinds of seeds in a poetic format with additional information available to read and learn about the seeds.

Let’s Go Nuts!: Seeds We Eat by April Pulley Sayre

This rhyming book with limited text shows a variety of seeds with different shapes, sizes, and colors.

How a Seed Grows by Helene J. Jordan 

This Let’s Read and Find Out book discusses what seeds are, different types of seeds, and where you can plant seeds. It then talks about conducting an experiment with seeds and eggshells to discover how seeds grow day by day.

Nature’s Miracles: Once There Was a Seed by Judith Anderson and Mike Gordon 

A young girl and her grandpa who both have green thumbs (which the book explains) plant seeds. The girl learns how deep the seeds should go, what three things the seeds need to grow, and how the seeds grow into plants. She also learns what pollen is, why it is important, and how seeds can grow into new plants from the ones grown. The end offers a note for parents and teachers with suggestions for follow-up activities.

Children’s Books About Plants

Exploring Plants by Claire Llewellyn

This book uses simple sentences to describe where plants grow, different kinds of plants, the parts of plants, leaves, flowers, seeds, how plants grow, what plants need to grow, what we can eat from plants, what animals may eat, and how plants help us. It ends with directions to grow your own beans in a jar.

Plant Cycle by Ray James

This book has only a couple of sentences per page. It talks about plant reproduction, plant seeds and how they can get to different places, how plants grow, and plants breaking down.

Plant Life Cycles by Sally Morgan

This book has quite a bit of text. It talks about shoots, roots, plant life cycles, interesting plant facts, flowering plants, nonflowering plants, germination, photosynthesis, flowers, plant fertilization, flower shapes, flower trickery, seeds, fruits, how seeds are scattered, producers and consumers, annuals, perennials, biennials, decomposers, and compost.

Plants Can’t Sit Still by Rebecca E. Hirsch

I really like this book! It uses simple text to show how plants move even though they don’t have feet, fins, or wings. Plants wiggle, grow, squirm, reach, creep, slither, crawl, climb, explode, and more. The back of the book gives a more detailed explanation of the plants shown in the illustrations.

Plants Feed Me by Lizzy Rockwell

This book has only one to two sentences per page and describes what a person could eat such as leaves (like spinach), roots and tubers (like carrots and potatoes), bulbs (onions), stems (asparagus), flowers (broccoli), fruits that grow on trees (apples), fruits that grow on bushes (blueberries), fruits that grow on vines (melons), and seeds (walnuts).

Plants We Eat by Christine Peterson

This book talks about different edible plants we eat and discusses vegetables, wheat, leaves, fruits, tubers, spices, and more. It ends with the suggestion to create a stirfry using a variety of plant parts such as carrots, bell peppers, broccoli, etc.

Children’s Books About Gardening

The Garden Project by Margaret McNamara

This Ready-To-Read Level 1 book is part of the Robin Hill School Series. It talks about how the Robin Hill School students, parents, and teacher convert their old sandbox into a garden for the kids to learn about gardening and enjoy the end results.

The Nitty-Gritty Gardening Book: Fun Projects for All Seasons by Kari Cornell

This book is divided into the four seasons and provide projects to do within each of the seasons. It also talks about why people garden and provides a very detailed explanation of garden basics. Each of the projects listed within this book have step-by-step instructions to follow. Some projects include making newspaper pots, growing a sack of potatoes, planting a strawberry basket, growing an avocado plant, and making a compost bin.

The Usborne Book of Growing Food by Abigail Wheatley

This is a detailed book about what you need to know before you start gardening, the supplies you will need, and step-by-step instructions with more facts about growing carrots, shallots, bush beans, sprouting beans, peas, herbs, edible flowers, and more. It also provides tips and techniques for gardening such as how to fill containers, sow seeds, plant, repot, deal with pests, and compost.

Think Like a Scientist in the Garden by Matt Mullins

This book talks about being a scientist in your own garden. It provides the steps to the scientific procedure and then tells how to collect facts, ask questions, do research (with information about Gregor Mendel), and conduct experiments you can try at home.

Will you be growing a garden this year?


For more fun with garden produce, check out these posts:

Our Grand Pumpkin Experiment

Quick Fresh Salsa

Pickle Making During National Pickle Month